My earliest, best memories of my father are of his stories. Every night before I went to sleep, he would read to me from old, hardcover books that featured classic, detailed illustrations. No watered down, picture book stories, he chose original Grimm’s and Hans Christian Anderson stories— scary and thrilling and oh so spellbinding! He read dramatically, voicing characters, and speeding up the tempo as the tale surged forward to its climax.

It was stories that bound us together and it was how he showed his love. It was our special time together. And his stories taught me about the world. My father gave me a great gift—a love of fine storytelling.

What human being ever hasn’t loved a good story? So, when Tina Tomiyama told me she was starting StoryMasters, how could I not become a charter member? There is nothing more magical and intimate than listening to advanced Toastmasters tell their personal stories, masterfully told, captivating the audience, transporting us to their world. I was IN!

From a back room in a peculiar, old Chinese restaurant to our current home—the cozy, inviting Tomiyama living room, each meeting draws me in with skillful speakers and well-told tales. One Sunday a month, I sit transfixed as I listen to stories. Thank you, StoryMasters, for sharing so many wondrous tales. Thank you for taking me on voyages to places I couldn’t imagine and teaching lessons I’d never known. Thank you for your inspiration month after month. I hope to join the ranks of the true storytelling Masters—the StoryMasters!

Anna Ziss-Patton
Anna Ziss-Patton


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